Rebublicans Should Be Embarrassed By Debt Increase Vote

Floyd and Mary Beth Brown, FloydReports.com

Washington is obsessed by picking winners and losers. But the Establishment media has the story all wrong again. The Republicans, they say, won this skirmish over debt. But actually Republicans displayed a total lack of commitment to their principles.

The only winner in the “Budget Control Act of 2011″ is massive government and the Washington bureaucracy it feeds with your money.

We are embarrassed for Republican members of Congress who go out with a straight face and talk about how they controlled spending, when they voted to increase the debt limit by between $2.1 and $2.4 trillion, the biggest explosion of debt in American history.

In reality, the bill as Rep. Tom McClintock, R-CA, points out, “allows the government to avoid spending reductions for the next two years while squandering our last best hope of averting a sovereign debt crisis.” This bill literally guarantees the economy will get worse, and the budget deficit will explode higher.

As a Republican state senator in California, McClintock predicted and fought against the policies that have bankrupted Sacramento and has now taken his crusade to Washington, D.C. He exhorted his colleagues to see reality, giving excellent reasons he voted against the Boehner/Obama bill: “The purported cuts, even if realized, are far below the $4 trillion deficit reduction that credit rating agencies have warned is necessary to preserve the Triple-A credit rating of the United States government; it blows the lid off the House budget passed in April by more than a half-trillion dollars over ten years; it makes no significant spending reductions for at least the next two years, essentially freezing spending at an unsustainable level.”

McClintock further explained, saying, “While the debt increase occurs this year, significant spending cuts aren’t to be made for many years and can be ignored or reversed by future acts of Congress; the spending caps are easily circumvented by declaring appropriations to be an emergency, a response to a ‘major disaster,’ or necessary for the ‘global War on Terror’; and the balanced budget amendment provisions are illusory because the amendment is completely undefined.”

But even more damaging to Republicans is the way they handed their citizen mandated legislative power to Barack Obama, damaging the U.S. Constitution in the process. Constitutional scholars….

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Five Reasons the Debt Deal is a Budget-Busting Mistake

Rep. Tom McClintock, FloydReports.com

The “Budget Control Act of 2011” increases the debt limit by between $2.1 and $2.4 trillion, the biggest explosion of debt in American history. It allows the government to avoid spending reductions for the next two years while squandering our last best hope of averting a sovereign debt crisis.

I am opposed to this measure for the following reasons:

  1. The purported cuts, even if realized, are far below the $4 trillion deficit reduction that credit rating agencies have warned is necessary to preserve the Triple-A credit rating of the United States government;
  2. It blows the lid off the House budget passed in April by more than a half-trillion dollars over ten years;
  3. It makes no significant spending reductions for at least the next two years, essentially freezing spending at an unsustainable level. While the debt increase occurs this year, significant spending cuts aren’t to be made for many years and can be ignored or reversed by future acts of Congress;
  4. The spending caps are easily circumvented by declaring appropriations to be an emergency, a response to a “major disaster,” or necessary for the “Global War on Terror”; and
  5. The balanced budget amendment provisions are illusory because the amendment is completely undefined.

THE ACT FLIRTS WITH A CREDIT DOWNGRADE

Let’s not forget the gorilla in the room. America faces an unprecedented fiscal crisis because of an unprecedented spending binge by this administration and the last. Credit rating agencies have openly warned that the nation’s Triple-A credit rating cannot be sustained without a credible plan to reduce the projected 10-year budget deficit by roughly $4 trillion.

This bill averts the threat of downgrade for failure to pay our current bills, but it also gives the most spendthrift administration in American history a credit line to continue spending at unsustainable levels through the next election. And it falls far short of the measures demanded by the rating agencies as necessary to maintain the Triple-A credit of the United States government.

If the nation’s Triple-A credit rating is downgraded as a result of this failure, it will mean higher interest rates to maintain government debt. Given the enormity of that debt, even a small increase in interest rates can add crushing additional costs to government. Furthermore, interest rate increases would ripple through the economy, causing higher mortgage interest rates, higher credit card rates and a severe additional drag on the economy.

This would occur on top of the inherent economic damage this bill does. The borrowing authorized in this measure is not theoretical: it amounts to more than $7,000 for every man, woman, and child in the nation or roughly $28,000 for a family of four. This debt must be repaid through that family’s future taxes just as surely as if it appeared on their credit card statement. In a real sense, this act means that every family in America has acquired the obligation to make the same payments as if they had just bought a new car.

Predicting the future decisions of the credit rating agencies is a fool’s errand. Much of their economic analysis is marred by perception, psychology, political pressure, and self-interest. But there is no blinking at the fact that on many occasions in the last month their senior analysts have called for immediate adoption of a credible work-out plan for $4 trillion of genuine deficit reduction in order to maintain a Triple-A rating. We ignore these repeated and explicit warnings at our peril.

SAVINGS ARE GREATLY EXAGGERATED

The Budget Control Act purports to cut federal discretionary spending by $900 billion over the next ten years and set in motion another $1.2 trillion to $1.5 trillion in ten-year spending reductions by year’s end. A recurring theme by proponents is that it guarantees a dollar of cuts for every dollar of new debt.

However, while the debt limit increase occurs this year, the savings occur over the next decade and are heavily back-loaded toward the end of that period. The work of the great economist, J. Wellington Wimpy, can be observed here: “I will gladly give you a dollar of spending cuts ten years from now for a dollar of debt today.”

In reality, this bill will decrease total federal spending by just $4 billion between….

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Why I Opposed the Debt Limit Increase

Rep. Tom McClintock, R-CA

This act increases the debt limit by between $2.1 and $2.4 trillion, the biggest explosion of debt in American history. It allows the government to avoid spending reductions for the next two years while squandering our last best hope of averting a sovereign debt crisis.

I am opposed to this measure for the following reasons:

  1. The purported cuts, even if realized, are far below the $4 trillion deficit reduction that credit rating agencies have warned is necessary to preserve the Triple-A credit rating of the United States government.
  2. It blows the lid off the House budget passed in April by more than a half-trillion dollars over ten years.
  3. It makes no significant spending reductions for at least the next two years, essentially freezing spending at an unsustainable level. While the debt increase occurs this year, deficit reductions are to be spread over many years and could be reversed by future acts of Congress.
  4. The spending caps are easily circumvented by declaring appropriations to be an emergency, a response to a “major disaster,” or necessary for the “Global War on Terror.”
  5. The balanced budget amendment provisions are illusory because the amendment is completely undefined.

Video: Finally, a Congressman Tells the Country why Obama is so Dangerous

Boehner Wimps Out on Libya

Ben Johnson, The White House Watch

The moment would be surreal were it not so reminiscent: An arrogant Democratic president had committed an impeachable offense, lied to the American people, and dared Congress to do anything about it. Incensed congressmen of both parties asked, negotiated, and threatened until they realized they had no alternative but to take action. Then, the Republican leadership stepped in to save their party’s, and their country’s, worst enemy.

This is not a Clinton-era flashback but a rehearsal of this week’s actions in Congress.

Barack Obama’s indiscretion is more serious than a stained dress and a lie under oath during a civil trial. Obama sent an already overstretched American military to take sides in the Libyan civil war, as part of the NATO operation known as Operation Odyssey Dawn. Now, well over 60 days into the fight, the war proceeds with no sign of Congressional approval and a promise of “no let-up.”

By the most liberal reading of the War Powers Resolution, this is illegal. Yet when Congress decided to act, the Republican leadership came to the rescue.

Boehner Saves Barry’s Bacon

A bipartisan coalition of lawmakers opposed the war from the beginning. Congressmen Dennis Kucinich and Ron Paul suggested the war called for impeachment. Late last month Kucinich introduced House Concurrent Resolution 51, which would require Obama to remove all U.S. troops from combat in Libya within 15 days of passage.

As its scheduled vote date neared earlier this week. Boehner yanked the bill when he realized it might pass.

Then he set out creating the toothless alternative that cleared the House Friday.

Boehner’s House Resolution 292 simply asks for the president to send Congress “a report describing in detail United States security interests and objectives.” It declares, “Congress has not provided authorization” for Libya and “has the constitutional prerogative to withhold funding.”

And that’s it.

If it is ever produced, the report will create bad PR for Obama and further turn public opinion against the intervention. Cynics will undoubtedly accuse Boehner of playing politics with a war for requiring it.

At the least cynical, his actions could be interpreted as an attempt to build public sentiment for cutting off funds. But if Boehner cannot find the spine to follow the Constitution and the law now, how….

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